We decided to test out living in a tiny house to decide whether it could be for us and spent 4 nights at WeeCasa in Lyons, Colorado near Boulder in two of the 22 available tiny houses.
The first was Atlas an 18ft box with one side opening to become an outside deck. Straightaway it felt cramped but not due to the dimensions but the poorly designed layout.
- There was a separate plug in induction hotplate for cooking, so you could get it out only when you were using it, maximising bench space
- Lovely big windows on one side with access to deck
- Fridge was a good size (but the design didn’t make use of the space it sat in)
- Access to the loft bed was via a wide staircase which encroached into the middle of the room
- The futon for relaxing was huge and uncomfortable
- The head height in the loft was minimal not pleasant for climbing in and out of bed and didn’t allow for you to both sit in bed
- The sink was super tiny, not practical to actually wash up in
- Storage was badly designed and didn’t open/close efficiently (clothes hanging space was too small to actually hang anything)
- Wet bathroom was like a steel butcher meat locker with no sink (so you had to use the tiny kitchen sink to wash your hands), the door hung at the top swinging wildly at the bottom and didn’t offer much privacy
Overall it felt like it was designed by architects wanting something cool to show on TV but practically it wasn’t designed to be lived in!
We then tried the Boulder 16ft which although smaller in length was built to be lived in and was much more practical.
- Large kitchen area
- Good work/dining table with big window
- Usable bathroom
- Space to sit up in the loft bed
- Not much storage though you could put stuff under the hanging sofa
- It felt small
We chatted to the resort managers maintaining the houses and got a better insight into tiny living and maintenance which can be easily overlooked. One of the questions they asked us was ‘why are we wanting to build a tiny house on wheels if we don’t plan on moving around?’ That was a very good question which we didn’t have an answer for.
Our ‘musts’ for a place to live includes being able to grow our own organic fruit and vegetables, live sustainable with a rain water tank, have an outdoor space and be close to our family. We were drawn by the idea of living simply and cost effectively so we fell in love with the idea of a tiny house, but the question is do we actually need it on wheels? Researching our options further we came across building a kit home or a small house on skids for the same cost. Of course, one of the negatives associated with this would be the need to get council approval to build a permanent structure (something that tiny houses avoid).
Having experienced tiny living and reassessed how we want to live, we’ve come to the conclusion that a tiny house on wheels isn’t for us. They are extremely small and although possible to live in if well designed we need a bit more space! BUT the principals of efficient design, minimalist and low cost living still resonate with us, so we will channel this as we fine tune our thinking.
If you are considering the tiny house life then we highly recommend staying in one like at WeeCasa to fully experience if its the right choice for you.
(WeeCasa is a privately owned tiny house resort which provides a place to park your tiny house when not in use and rent it out like Airbnb. The company maintain the houses and once all the running costs are deducted you would received 50% of the profits, not a bad wee investment or solution if you’ve got a tiny house that you aren’t living in)